Album Review: One – One Day

Release Date: July 7th 2017

Tracklist:

  1. 그냥 그래 (Gettin’ by)
  2. 해야해 (heyahe)

Total Runtime: 00:06:39

Recommended for: Fans of chill and Korean R&B/hip hop styles and those who are familiar and enjoy songs from AOMG.

Not recommended for:  Those who dislike chill songs and R&B.

Being YG’s first solo artist in 14 years, this début commanded attention on its own. However One himself is no rookie to the music scene, having debuted under the hip-hop duo 1Punch and participating in the fourth season of Show Me the Money. He returns with his début single album packed with two chill hip hop songs, that on first listen sound like they’re straight out of AOMG. Whilst not matching the expected sound from others, has ONE been able to distance himself from his predecessors?

Track Review:

Track 1 – 그냥 그래 (Gettin’ by)

Starting off, the music video is an aesthetic wonder. The chill and relaxed vibe of the song is captured through the use of soft tones and gentle transitions. The repetition of blue in most of the scenes creates a calming effect, assisting the song in helping to mellow you.

The second you hear the infamous “I need a Cha Cha Beat Boy”, you know that you’re in for a good ride. In this case a calm cruise during the summer. One’s relaxed rapping perfectly compliments the simple but effective instrumental.  Whilst the song uses the hook 그냥 그래 (Gettin by) to ramp up the catchiness, it does not rest solely on it alone. Instead, the instrumental remains serene but also dynamic keeping your attention on the song.

At first, listen, One’s rapping style can come across as quite monotonous especially in contrast to his YG predecessors. After multiple listens, this rapping style works well with the more vibrant instrumental offering a nice contrast when listening in. In saying there are moments when their instrumental is more vibrant than One himself, effectively overriding him. However, these moments are fleeting and for the majority of the song, One remains the center of attention. The moments when One sings help to separate the rap segments and whilst not including anything groundbreaking it is pleasant to the ears.

Lyrically, the song is quite relatable describing feeling ”so-so” after a relationship had ended. Having written the song himself, One is able to delve into personal experiences making the entire song more emotional. Whilst, a song about feeling ”just okay” can be perceived as cold, the diverse instrumental and relatability make  a warmer track.

Track 2 – 해야해 (heyahe)

In direct contrast to Gettin’ by the music video is more colourful and surreal, fitting in with the vibrant song. Directed by VM Project, it contains the studio’s conventional lighting and aesthetic (more examples can be found here) With no dull moments, the video is successful in keeping your focus and even offers some surprises along the way.

This gives off serious AOMG vibes from the beat to the singing in the pre-chorus. However, it does come off as a rip-off and fits One’s rapping style quite well. The instrumental compliments One well, more so than Gettin’ by, its mellow if needed and hard hitting when the time is right. The use of the hooks ”해야해” and “I’m lovin it” with you help to make the song more catchy than the 1st track. But the song by no means tries to become a hook song and relies more on its addictive beat than repetition.

One’s rapping tone is more dynamic here and it helps ramp up the excitement level. The calm instrumental before the pre-chorus is effective as it makes the explosive chorus even more worthwhile. A minute into Gettin’ by and it was easy to guess the direction of the song but heyhahe is less conventional. It is no way, an experimental track for its genre but it is certainly bolder than track one.

The lyrics of the song are more lighthearted and describes having fun in a relationship and seizing the moment. This fun vibe works to One’s advantage as he is able to play around with his tone giving the track more of a party vibe. The combination of this and the dynamic instrumental gives the song more replayability. Combined with the aesthetic music video, an audio and visual experience is created.

YG made a good choice in selecting these as double title tracks. Both sides show the two sides to one, chill and more upbeat. Neither which are mind-blowing or innovative but they aren’t safe choices either. In saying so, if I had to choose only one to be the title track it would be heyhahe hands down. It still retains the mellow factor present in Gettin’ by but it’s diverse instrumental and rapping makes it more replayable. The only thing I want is more music to find out what path One takes musically wise. But, so far he has shown incredible promise, especially in his songwriting capabilities. Who knows what he’s future brings? Hopefully, far away from the YG dungeon.

What do you think of One’s first release? Comment down below your favourite track and if he met your expectations?

 

Review overview
Summary A solid debut album with two well-produced songs. Heyhahe hard carries in terms of replayability but meshes well with Gettin' by. The album helps to establish a signature sound for One.
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